I’ve seen some articles here and there about children in the foster care system. Some of them have nice pleasant stories and some have some not so pleasant ones, and others have just down right inhumane treatment of children. Gosh, I wish I could be a child advocate some days, but my fear of driving and lack of a diploma in such a field and lack of time to study for one gives me no chance at such a job. You see, I was once a kid in the foster system. For around 2 years. I’ve had personal experience, and the problem wasn’t even something that should have resulted in my removal of my home in the first place.
You see, some people did some bad things (as so often the story is told) but my mom, she was an innocent bystander in the situation. She knew nothing of what was going on because I’d been threatened if I had told her, that they’d kill her. Obviously I wasn’t going to tell her, I didn’t want her dead! So instead I told my teacher, who had me tell my guidance councilor (who I didn’t really like at all) then I had to tell the vice principal and then finally the principal who then called the police. Lots and lots of a poor child telling a bunch of men a horrible thing that happened caused by a horrible man. Can you tell it was a very uncomfortable situation? I don’t think I was even into the double digits of age at that time!
After telling two police officers (who were also male) about the situation, they escorted me to some child services facility where my sister and I were put into a foster home. My mothers name was slandered not just by police, but by the social workers in the building, the foster parent we were eventually situated with, and the foster kids who we were stuck living with. They all blamed my mom for what happened, because apparently, “How could she not have known?” Well, I already told you how, so stop being a bunch of jerks. It was hard dealing with what had happened, on top of it, they were trying to tell my sister and I that my mom didn’t care and wasn’t fighting for us, which made me feel terrible. After some time, we found out they’d found my dad and thus a war began over who would get custody. A bitter ugly war, because my mom never really told us about our father. After becoming an adult and seeing him for what he is, I can understand why.
My father wasn’t exactly a bad man, but he wasn’t a good man either. He couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t afford his own bills, and I doubt he actually tried to find us. After all, he had two more children shortly there after! My younger brother who is the youngest of my fathers children is only about 5 years younger than me, his sister is 2 years younger than me. I digress though, I’ve gotten off topic.
While in the foster home, I experienced horrendous things. The foster mom had a biological daughter who hated having other kids in her home. What was worse, we had to bunk in rooms with anywhere from 3 to 4 people a room. While I was there, I kept hearing in hushed tones that they thought my mother never fed me. Considering I was thinner than a stick, I can imagine why but boy did I prove them wrong. I wasn’t a finicky eater either, I ate and ate and ate like there was a shortage of food and we magically came into a landfill worth of edibles. I ate so much that the foster mom had to request extra provisions just to keep my appetite sated. So much for that theory of I wasn’t fed enough, huh? I didn’t ever gain a pound, not once.
Then ontop of the slander about my poor pathetic weight, I had problems wetting the bed. Naturally any child who experiences extreme trauma has some kind of psychological damage, mine was that I couldn’t seem to wake up in time to make the trip to the bathroom. Their resolution? The foster mom had her niece who also lived with us but in her own private special room wake me in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I dreaded it every night because she would wake me up with a knee in the spine or a foot to the gut, depending on how I was sleeping. I became loathsome of the foster home, I even tried to run away sometimes. I would get lost on purpose on my way to school in the hopes of finding my way home. It never worked, sadly.
There was a issue of one of the girls I was forced to room with… She used to fight with me almost daily. So often that one day I had to grab her by the head and throw her into the wooded blinds that were our closet doors. It was treacherous. I was requested to help her with her homework all the time, and usually it resulted in an all out fight between her and I. It was rarely ever pleasant dealing with her, and I still cannot figure to this day why on earth she was that way. I mean, I know staying in the foster home stunk but really?
Then there were the other problems… The foster moms daughter was a brute. She was more my sisters age, who is about 4 years older than me. She once caught me sitting in the floor minding my own business and doing my homework hoping if I was good they’d finally let me go home where I belonged. My back had been to the door and out of no where she called for my attention. When I’d turned to see what she wanted, she kicked me square in the mouth and chipped one of my bottom teeth. I still have a fragment of my bottom tooth inside my bottom lip to this day. Often when thinking, I find myself running my tongue along it for some unknown reason. Almost as soon as I started to wail in despair, I got up and charged at her, pushed past her and to her mothers room with a trail of blood following me. When I had told the foster mom, she declared I must’ve done something to deserve it. I was astounded, hurt, and covered in blood, yet it was my fault somehow.
I got her back though eventually. I know payback and getting even isn’t the way to go, but by george what she did was uncalled for. All in all, the foster system is terrible. I only wish my social worker could have just put me back home where I belonged, I mean heck, I ended up back home eventually, why not of done it sooner? For many foster kids, foster home is a true living hell. I know it was for me.